How to Keep Yourself Healthy and Protect Against Coronavirus

Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Infection

As more information about the coronavirus becomes available it is important to stay calm and keep yourself educated about the steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization are great resources to turn to for all the latest details. 

According to WHO, common signs of infection include:

  • Respiratory Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath and 
  • Breathing Difficulties

In severe cases infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Those with the highest risk of death include those over 65 years of age, or those who have health conditions such as diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The CDC confirms symptoms can appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. During this outbreak it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you are feeling sick. Don't stick it out!

So what can you do to protect yourself?

The best answer is to avoid being exposed to the illness, but CDC says you can be vigilant about taking taking everyday actions to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

The CDC Recommendations include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    *NOTE: if you don't have a tissue handy and need to cough, practice coughing into your elbow or shoulder and avoid coughing into your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

The WHO also suggests sticking with other healthy lifestyle practices such as getting good sleep, eating well, staying active, and avoid overusing tobacco, alcohol and drugs. 

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